It’s just not the same anymore. These words are uttered not just in the motor trade or by old people but probably by everyone at some time or another. Whilst in our weekly meeting in the MTI board room about the topics to be covered during the next week our editor started to reminisce about the days when he was growing up and the excitement he experienced when the first registration numbers of August were out and about on the road and the fun him and his mates had in spotting them.
Simple pleasures I know but it got me thinking just how diluted the business has become in so many ways, and whilst I understand why the plates have been changed to release the pressure that existed when new car sales were concentrated on basically what was one fantastic day on the first of August. Remember that this was a time when salesman could earn 3 months commission in just 24 hours and when customers would queue up at midnight to collect their shiny new cars. In fact even when the number plate system was first introduced, the very first number plate, A1, was issued in London to Earl Russell who famously camped-out all night to get his hands on it.
To a certain extent this madness continues today, whereas admittedly there is hardly a murmur in March or September and you now get 3 different plates in a year – which really just confuses everyone – sales people still have to justify why a car registered in the same year can be worth £1,500 less because of a number plate.